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SMMT revises 2002 forecast as new car market returns to 'former glory'

The new car market is returning to its former glory, and sales for the coming months look likely to keep on growing, according the RMI after figures published today, showed new car registrations rose by 11.6% last month to 173,160 units, prompting the SMMT to increase its full-year forecast.

Year-to-date registrations are up 5.2 per cent, to 1,442,188 units and the SMMT has revised its full year forecast from 2.25m to 2.3m units.

July was the 10th consecutive month of growth in the new car market.

“Highly competitive pricing structures, great showroom deals and continuing consumer confidence in franchised dealers means the market is in very good health,” said Alan Pulham, franchised dealer director of the Retail Motor Industry Federation (RMI).

“All the signs suggest this success story is set to continue, particularly with mounting consumer interest in the new registration format to be introduced in September when new cars go on sale.”

SMMT chief executive Christopher Macgowan said: “Confidence is king when it comes to buying a new car. And clearly 10 months of growth in the new car market speaks volumes. It tells us that buyers are confident that their local franchised dealer offers the best deal on price, specification, finance and aftersales care.”

Private buyers accounted for 81,551 registrations last month compared to 67,493 in July 2000. Total registrations by private buyers from January to July reached 699,380 units in 2001, up 19% on the 587,381 units for the first seven months of 2000. November 2000, December 2000, March 2001, June 2001 and July 2001 have all seen record numbers of new car registrations.

Top 10 registrations July 2001:
1. Ford Focus - 10,233 units
2. Peugeot 206 - 7,995
3. Ford Fiesta - 7,045
4. Ford Mondeo - 6,764
5. Vauxhall Astra - 6,487
6. Renault Clio - 6,413
7. Renault Megane - 5,683
8. Vauxhall Corsa - 5,648
9. Volkswagen Golf - 5,298
10. Citroen Xsara - 5,013

Year-to-date
1. Focus - 81,758
2. 206 - 60,219
3. Astra - 59,703
4. Fiesta - 56,770
5. Mondeo - 54,968
6. Corsa - 51,596
7. Megane - 44,699
8. Clio - 44,250
9. Golf - 39,878
10. Punto - 39,355.

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